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CAS Strike Vote
May 1, 2009 permalink
Brant CAS workers have voted to strike. How much pay does it take to pull a baby from mother's breast while she is still groggy from childbirth?
CAS workers vote in favour of strike
Posted By Susan Gamble, Expositor Staff, Posted April 30, 2009
Unionized workers at the Brant Children’s Aid Society have indicated they’re prepared to walk off the job if the agency doesn’t change a no-negotiation stance.
Andrew Hunter, a national representative for the Canadian Union of Public Employees, said a vote 100% in favour of strike action is a clear message from the 100 CAS employees that they are unhappy.
“There are some very serious issues at stake,” Hunter said Wednesday.
While the agency has offered a four-year deal with a 2% increase in wages and benefits each year, the employees are looking for coverage on legal issues.
Currently, the agency will pay for legal costs if a worker is criminally charged by a parent. But if the family sues the worker in civil court, their fees won’t be covered.
Second, if the worker is driving their own car while transporting a child in care and has an accident, they are likely to find themselves not covered by insurance and liable for both the vehicle and injuries to the child.
“These employees need business insurance and to be covered for legal liability,” said Hunter.
He said the province could help pay for the increased costs that coverage might exact.
The situation is going to a conciliator but no date has been set for a meeting at this point.
Hunter said that after at least one meeting, either side has the option to walk out or lock out after 17 days.
“If there’s a strike, all the managers would have to take over the functions of the agency and I assume some extraneous functions would be dropped.”
Children’s aid societies are not considered essential services but they are mandated by law.
Hunter said there won’t be a strike as long as the CAS is willing to at least talk about proposals being put forward by the union.
“Right now they’ve said they don’t want to talk about (the issues), and that’s not even bargaining.”
The CAS could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
Source: Brantford Expositor